As today, prick spurs were used to direct the horse to move forward, but interestingly, they did not come in pairs at first, the rider would wear them on only one of the feet. Horses were integral to the prosperity of the Roman Empire: being indispensable in a military context, among others. Roman saddles were made of wood and leather: although quite uncomfortable for the horse, the distinctive shape (with four upraised ‘horns’) allowed the rider to grip onto the saddle with his legs. This provided the rider with the required stability, whilst leaving both hands free to operate weaponry. Many Roman military tombstones depict soldiers on horseback, with their swords raised to smite a ‘barbarian’ (a non-Roman).
Roman Bronze Horse Spur
An Ancient Roman horse bronze spur featuring perforations and a prick stud to the neck. The spur features a U-shaped body and has one hole on each ‘arm’. These would have allowed for the spur to be attached to the rider’s shoe/boot. The neck is adorned with a decorative prick stud attachment. The pointy end of the prick slightly worn off. This spur would have been used across all regions of the Roman Empire, attached to the heel of the rider’s boot in warfare.
Condition: Fine, complete and intact. The pointy end of the prick slightly worn off. The item features a lustrous surface.